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Ford Canyon Trail - White Tanks, AZ
route 914 209 0 0
Description 209 Triplogs  1 Topic
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Phoenix NW
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,615 feet
Elevation Gain 1,410 feet
Avg Time One Way 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.1
Interest Seasonal Creek
Author joebartels
Descriptions 208
Routes 692
Photos 8,918
Trips 3,110 map ( 16,057 miles )
Age 46
Location Phoenix, AZ
Viewed All Mine Following
9  2016-04-20 rtaylor3235
5  2016-04-20
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon Loop
7  2016-03-30
Mesquite-Ford Canyon Loop w Goldwater Peak
5  2016-03-30
Mesquite-Ford Canyon Loop w Goldwater Peak
4  2015-12-30
Willow-Ford Canyon Loop
5  2015-12-20
Ford Canyon-Goat Camp loop
15  2015-12-12
Ford Mesquite Loop with Barry
32  2015-12-12
Ford Mesquite Loop with Barry
43  2015-11-28
Mesquite-Willow-Ford Canyon Loop
6  2015-11-22 Eartheist
8  2015-08-06 Ebirnbaum16
30  2015-05-16
Goat Camp - Willow / Mesquite Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Backpack   Possible & Connecting
Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:22am - 7:44pm
Route Scout
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Official Route
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Mesquite Trail - White Tanks
0.0  Wild Life Trail - White Tanks
0.1  Mule Deer Trail - White Tanks
0.3  Black Rock Long Loop
0.3  Black Rock Short Loop
0.5  White Tanks / Fall factor Wall
[ View More! ]
     Dam - Power Plant
     Banded Garden Spider
     Bordered Patch Butterfly
     Checkerspot Butterfly
     Common side-blotched lizard
     Empress Leilia Butterfly
     Gray Fox
     Harris Antelope Squirrel
     Horned Lizard
     Mule Deer
     Praying Mantis
     Rock Squirrel
     Speckled Rattlesnake
     Arizona Lupine
     Blue Dicks
     Buckhorn Cholla
     Coulter's Lupine
     Desert Chicory
     Mexican Gold Poppy
     Scarlet Bugler
     Wiry Lotus
 Unidentified Geology
Triple Zoner
by joebartels

Note: Page data reflects the entire trail from the horse staging area all the way to the Goat Trail. Few if any do this full stretch, adjust your distance accordingly when posting triplogs.

Hike: Here's a trail with many options. This summary reflects a one way 4.5mi/1140AEG trek. Starting at the middle Waddell Trailhead, looping counter clockwise to the junction with Mesquite Trail. See the map below for a better understanding. Choose one of the following options. Most hike 2.5 miles to the white granite slabs. Others loop back on the Mesquite Trail for a 7.7 mile journey. Any trek along this trail on a 70 degree day would be enjoyable.

From the Waddell trailhead you'll soon be heading north. To the left a good size mountain looms close. It's a good landmark to remember for those taking on the 7.7 mile loop. A big wash is crossed before the junction with Ford Canyon Trail. The first mile of the Ford Canyon Trail takes you through a beautiful stretch of desert. The trail makes it's way, dodging cacti along the way. If by chance, you get bored with the beautiful desert scenery, an ascent helps change the pace. As I hadn't read anything about the trail, my eyes searched for everything. I caught a glimpse, in the distance, of a dry waterfall. That became the drive. What was it all about? Did it come close to the trail? How tall was it? Surprisingly the trail came closer than expected. Only to turn and climb to the real gem of this trail. The canyon stream bed turns to white granite slabs. It's really white. Having hiked other trails in the White Tanks since, it's now apparent how the name came about. I could only imagine a summer swim in one of the many pools. I'm sure this is a very popular, day after monsoon rain, summer hike.

Not usually like myself, I forged on."The trail leaves the stream bed just after the 3 mile mark." A sign on the left bank leads you out and up. The trail switchbacks up the canyon slope. Your heading towards a saddle with Willow Canyon. The vegetation, now in a third stage, is light desert terrain. Surrounded completely by mountains, this is a very peaceful area. I nearly jumped (okay, I jumped) when two bucks or whatever they are ran by me. Ocotillos greet you coming to the first saddle. Cross over the saddle and now your looking into Willow Canyon. Radio towers can be seen in the distance. The trail goes down to the Mesquite Trail junction. The Ford Canyon Trail actually goes about another mile where it hooks up with the Goat Camp Trail. You could make this into one huge loop with the Goat Camp Trail. If you do, consider a short side trip to Willow Springs.
© 2001 - 2016


One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info

$6 per vehicle or $85 annual

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From the 303 & Olive go west on Olive 4.5 miles to the park entrance. Olive turns into White Tank Mountain Rd. Continue 2.1 miles, turn right and it's 250 feet to to the Mesquite/Ford Trailhead

You get a map when you pay your entrance fee so that should help you figure it out if you have any concerns.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
stay out of the scorching sun
prehydrate & stay hydrated
© 2016 HAZ